On Tuesday, commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell wrote a letter to all 32 football teams saying he thought NFL players should stand for the anthem.
“The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country…Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” wrote Goodell, in a letter obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Goodell also said he was working on a plan that would promote the work of players on social issues. This plan, as well as whether there will be an NFL rule change requiring players to stand for the national anthem, are to be discussed at the previously scheduled meeting next Tuesday.
Should there be a rule requiring NFL players to stand during the anthem? What compromise should the League propose to satisfy players and viewers? Will this allow us to move past a symbolic rift into more meaningful conversation or is this a bellwether for further divisions within the NFL?
N. Jeremi Duru, a professor at American University who teaches sports law, civil procedure, and employment discrimination; author of “Sports Law and Regulation: Cases and Materials” (Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, 2013)